For the past three seasons, Atlanta Braves general manager John Coppolella has engineered a huge effort in rebuilding the franchise that has now positioned the Braves to enter the upcoming season and future seasons with much optimism.
However, along the way, some of Coppolella’s actions during the rebuilding denied him an opportunity to see the benefits of his work.
The Braves GM was forced into resigning from the team on Monday after an investigation by Major League Baseball found the existence of proof of substantial infractions related to the international market.
Gordon Blakeley, who was the mentor to Coppolella during their time with the New York Yankees, was forced into resigning his position as special assistant in charge of the international scouting of the Braves.
John Hart the president of baseball operations with the Braves said that initially it did not appear there was much to it, but over the past 72 hours, the MLB investigation, dug up a number of things that are serous, as far as rules for MLB.
Hart added that due to what was dug up and what MLB has, it drove the team into the spot they are now in.
Because the investigation is ongoing, Hart could not say much, and Coppolella was not able to comment.
Coppolella was with Atlanta up to the final weekend of season, but when there was acceleration in the investigation, he took a flight to Atlanta from Miami on Saturday.
His resignation brings to an end a tenure that started in late 2015, when he was named the GM of the Braves. He spent the previous year filling the role that Frank Wren left vacated in September of 2014 when fired.
Hart said he continued to have very high regards for Coppolella and loves his family. He said more than once how disappointed he was that things reached the point they did, and is saddened for John and his family.
The GM duties will be handled by Hart until Atlanta finds a replacement. As well as needing to decide the fates of Brian Snitker the Braves manager and his coaches, Hart will have to plan for what is up next.
While not clear when the infractions had been committed, Atlanta made a big splash when the team signed Kevin Maitan along with four other top prospects that became available during the international market of 2016.
Some indication have surfaced that the violation might have been discovered when a prior investigation into what likely was a matter unrelated, led MLB investigators into stumbling upon the significant infractions made by the Braves.